15 Of The Most Iconic Verses By Female Rappers, Ever

Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images.
In case you haven’t noticed, I like rap and I think women are dope. As such, women rappers have always held a special place in my heart. Since I was a kid, I’ve been enamored by these women. They’ve insisted on having a seat at the table with full hearts and laid edges. The complicated stories told in hip-hop are not just orated by men. And in the process of telling their own stories, figures like Foxy Brown and Gangsta Boo have taught me invaluable lessons about friendship, consent, money, pain, family, and of course, sex.
For many of us, female rappers are the only way we see ourselves fully represented in the music we love. Having really powerful female energy on a song can completely change a rap record. Suddenly, what was just a dope beat and catchy lyrics are an offering of identity, solidarity, and pride.
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It is these songs that are burned in my memory as cultural jewels. They don’t have to be inherently feminist, some of them blatantly aren’t. But they’re real; and they mean something to the culture I identify with. There is no feeling like being in the middle of a party and rapping the lyrics to one of these verses at the top of your lungs. Listen to the tracks and see for yourself.
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Diamond & Princess on Crime Mobb's “Knuck If You Buck” (2004)

When I was in high school, this Crime Mobb track was not what you wanted to hear if you were on enemy territory (i.e. at a rival school or in an unknown neighborhood). It’s an aggressive taunt to your opposition and the beat brings your body along for the ride. With their verses, Diamond and Princess welcomed us to a royal rumble that was gender inclusive.
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Lil Kim on “Crush on You (Remix)” by Lil Cease (1997)

This hip-hop classic was made infinitely better by the Queen Bee and her insistence that she’s going to “throw shade if [she] can’t get paid.” I boo any DJ who dares to only play Lil’ Cease’s verse. But her color coordinated transformations in the music video sealed Lil Kim’s icon status.
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Janelle Monae’s last verse on “Q.U.E.E.N.” (2013)

Monae put her best foot forward with this single. The music video is six minutes of Afro-futurist genius. She brought Erykah Badu along for the ride for some really good music and brilliant visuals. But Monae saved the best for last. She closed the song with a full 16 bars that doubled as a liberating call to action. We didn’t even know she could rap.
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Lauryn Hill on “Ready Or Not” by the Fugees (1996)

I only picked this song because it’s one of my favorite tracks by the Fugees. Any real Lauryn Hill fan knows that you can blindly pick from a list of songs she raps on and there is a 85% chance that it will still be better than your favorite verse by your favorite rapper. This is science.
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Lola Damone on “50 Playaz Deep” by Drunken Master (2001)

Before Drake made having new friends a faux pas, Drunken Master bragged about how many friends he had in “50 Playaz Deep.” He has 50, if you haven't figured it out. Joining him was rapper Lola Damone who had an equal number of homegirls whom she called “misses.” My favorite part of this song is that there is a man in the background silently counting the number of “playaz” and “misses” mentioned, to make sure they total 50. However, Damone keeps up with Drunken Master in terms of wit and flow. “50 Playaz Deep” is the edited-for-radio version. I strongly recommend the explicit version, which uses different terminology and is infinitely less corny and actually iconic.
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Remy Ma on Curren$y’s “Where The Cash At” (2006)

Before she was making a mockery of Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma was out-rapping rappers on their own songs. My favorite line: “I don’t fall in love with ‘em. Cumming then I’m done with ‘em. Most they get from me is wet pussy and some bubblegum.” Same.
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Ester Dean on Gucci Mane’s “I Think I Love Her” (2009)

If you can’t rap along to every word of this verse at a volume higher than the party subwoofers, then you can’t sit with us. It’s that serious.
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Trina on Trick Daddy’s “Nann” (1998)

In my fantasy world, this verse is a response to street harassment that will make street harassers literally disappear until you’re out of their reach. Here is the set up: a cocky Trick Daddy shoots his shot at Trina who, unbeknownst to him, is just as arrogant and capable. I’m still trying to go the places she’s been and spend the grands that she’s spent. I’ll bet at least a few of the 5 or 6 best friends she slept with weren’t bad to look at either.
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Diamond “Rock Yo Hips” by Crime Mobb (2006)

A really quick way to have you “Black Girl Card” revoked or suspended is not being able to finish this line: “I got 32 flavors of that bootylicious bubblegum…” If you don’t know the rest, now is your chance to learn before someone finds out.
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La Chat on “Chickenhead” (2001)

There is nothing I love more than a good call-and-response set up on a song. In “Chickenhead” La Chat went toe-to-toe with Project Pat, and set the bar a little higher for all of the women who have dared to play the dozens with someone.
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Eve on “Love Is Blind” (1999)

Heartbreaking but necessary, one of Eve’s lyrical masterpieces is a story about watching her friend die as a result of intimate partner violence. The angry rant against the abuser begins, “I don’t even know you and I hate you.”
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Katie Got Bandz on “Pop Out” (2013)

Drill music is a subgenre of a sub genre under hip-hop. It’s the Chicago derivative of trap music, darker and way more gritty. Like the rest of trap, it also started as a boys club until Katie Got Bandz — a.k.a. Drillary Clinton — came along with her single “Pop Out.” It also popularized her signature ad lib, which is just her saying her own name. However, the historical juxtaposition of a name like ‘Katie’ and her genre of music is just too precious not to be iconic. Sorry, not sorry.
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Left Eye on TLC’s “Waterfalls” (1995)

That Left Eye could spit as fast and animated as she did on this song without changing the tone of mood is actually mind-blowing.
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Nicki Minaj’s “Itty Bitty Piggy” (2009)

Before she crossed over, Nicki Minaj was doing what most aspiring rappers did to get their verses off: rapped to someone else's track. In this case is was the beat to Soulja Boy’s “Donk.” It’s pretty obvious that Nicki is the superior lyricist, though.
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Missy Elliott “The Rain” (1997)

Rap has forever changed how we use some words. Thanks to Migos, I can never hear the word ‘raindrop’ without immediately following it up with “drop top.” When someone asks "Shall I proceed?" there is a "yes, indeed!" not far behind. And because of Missy Elliott, we all know that the only appropriate response to “Beep! Beep!” is “who got the keys to my Jeep?” with an optional “vrooooom” to round it off. Also: trash bag jumpsuit. End of story.
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